Just bought my MES and temp is not working correctly

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by mlrtym44, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. Hey all,

          So on thursday I bought the MES 40 at SAM's  planned to do 2 briskest and pork sholder today.  Well I have them in there now and I can't reach 225 inside.  I have the temp controller set to 275 now and it is only at 216.  I started this morning and i was thinking it wasn't correct so i ran up to wall mart and got a cheap stove thermo that hangs.  It was reading 180 at 225 temp.  I was all ready cooking like this for over 3 hours now.

    so I cranked it up to 275 and now it is at 200+  I checked the probe, cause i just left it on the wall this time and it says 216.  I can't get it hotter.  It is even out in direct 100 degree sunlight right now...

    I think i might have to return this one.  What you all think?
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  2. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Try resetting it by unpluging for a few minutes and plug it back in.

    Good luck! 
  3. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    if a reset doesn't do the trick Return it and get another unit.

     Mine is a little off too. seems to be more at lower temps but gets w/in 5 degrees at temps above 200.
  4. pantherfan83

    pantherfan83 Smoking Fanatic

    If you were using an extension cord, it should be the shortest possible.  Also as heavy duty as possible too.  Have you tried plugging it directly into an outlet?  Also, I'm wondering if being in the full 100 degree sun could have messed with the thermostadt?
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  5. yes i was using an extension cord.  I didn't want to do it inside my garage.  I was wondering that so i planned to try it again this weekend with out the cord.  I don't really have a choice with the outside temp though lol..
  6. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    I have used my MES 30 with and without an extension cord..in sun and outta sun..and I have never noticed any difference in my temps.....they always flucuate with mine about 20-25 degrees.  If I set my temp at 225F...when it cycles off the temp will drop down to about 211F and then when it cycles on..it goes about to about 237F.

    If you are looking to get rid of your MES 40...if you still have the original box, I'd take it off your hands...as I am wanting to install a PID, SSR, and such...so don't care if the stock internal thermostate works or not.

    All the Sam's clubs within 100 mile radius of me our out stock on the MES 40 and won't be getting anymore until October!!!

  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What gauge is the extension cord you were using, and what length is it?

  8. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Using an extension cord on older MES which used less wattage elements was a problem, so you know using an extension cord on the newer models is also going to be a problem and most likely even more severe, because they draw more amps.

    If you have to use a extension cord nothing less than commercial grade 12 ga should be used and keep it as short as possible.  I tried a 50' 12 ga, and had problems, cheap cords are mostly 14 ga..  Fortunately I have a outside wall outlet so I really didn't need to use the extension cord.  My reason for using an extension cord was to get the smoker away from the house, so the smoke wouldn't come in the screen windows or eaves.  I solved the eaves problem by taping plastic over them, before that smoke smell would get in the house since the smoker was located under the eave.

    About the reset.  There is a a correct way to do the reset. 

    • First cycle off the smoker using the on/off on the control module.

    • Unplug the smoker electric cord for 10 sec.  then replug the cord.

    • Turn the controller on and put in your settings.

    On some modules if you just unplug the power cord without first cycling off the on/off switch, the unit will remain stuck in whatever is causing it to not perform correctly when plugged back in.

    If the problem persists I would take it back to where ever you purchased the unit.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  9. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    I do use an extension cord on my 30" MES with the 650 watt heater...it is indeed 12 gauge with ground...and only 8 feet long...I do not have problems.

    Also..keep your temp probe in the upper left corner and the high temp sensor in the middle left clean and shiney...I have found this helps alot on keeping temps where they should be.

  10. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I made a 15 foot 10 guage cord so i know it won't be a problem.
  11. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    With the weenie watts these things seem to consume, I don't think a really heavy duty extension cord is gonna be all that much help. From what I can see these things are way under powered as they come from the factory brand new so getting a replacement unit isn't really gonna help either. A typical two slice toaster puts out more heat than these things do. It's like a Cadillac limo trying to run with a Dodge Neon engine.   
  12. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    A toaster may put out more heat into a 8" x 1" space than the MES. But Guess what? ya cant put a brisket into your toaster. They were  underpowered and mes tried to solve that problem by going to the 1200 watt element. i have the older 40" and it smokes fine .The only advantage that the 1200 has is recovery times and heat to temp times.

     You can't reasonably compare a toaster to a smoker. two different pieces of equipment . i wouldn't try to toast bread on my smoker and i dang sure wouldn't stuff meat into my toaster.
  13. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    I know that. I was saying it by means of comparison. It was a just way of pointing how just how under powered the things are. 1200 watts sounds about right though but 800 just isn't gonna cut it. Especially if it's outside in the winter where you get some really cold temps, say the North East or Mid West somewhere.  
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2010

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